Premier League Table 2013 Week 8: Predicting Standings After Next Round
Week 7 saw the Premier League sign off before the international break in style.
Liverpool remain tied at the top of the table as joint leaders while the Manchester clubs rallied after a testing couple of weeks. Meanwhile, North London's title hopefuls both dropped points as Arsenal visited Steve Clarke's giant killers, West Bromwich Albion, and Tottenham Hotspur hosted West Ham United at White Hart Lane.
It was a weekend not only packed with goals, but fixtures, too. All 20 topflight teams were in action across Saturday and Sunday, leaving plenty to discuss and analyse in the weeks ahead before the Premier League resumes on October 19th.
|Home team||Result||Away team|
|Cardiff City||1-2||Newcastle United|
|Hull City||0-0||Aston Villa|
|Tottenham Hotspur||0-3||West Ham United|
|West Bromwich Albion||1-1||Arsenal|
This pause in action while the World Cup Qualifiers take precedent also offers up an opportunity to consider each team's current placing and what that could mean in the run up to Christmas and their seasons in general.
Where will each team place after their return to action in Week 8?
Below are predictions for the next round of fixtures and how they could affect the league table.
|Date and Time (BST)||Home team||Prediction||Away team|
|Saturday October 19th - 12:45||Newcastle United||1-3||Liverpool|
|Saturday October 19th - 15:00||Arsenal||2-0||Norwich|
|Saturday October 19th - 15:00||Chelsea||3-1||Cardiff City|
|Saturday October 19th - 15:00||Everton||2-2||Hull City|
|Saturday October 19th - 15:00||Manchester United||1-1||Southampton|
|Saturday October 19th - 15:00||Stoke City||0-2||West Bromwich Albion|
|Saturday October 19th - 15:00||Swansea City||2-0||Sunderland|
|Saturday October 19th - 17:30||West Ham United||0-2||Manchester City|
|Sunday October 20th - 16:00||Aston Villa||2-1||Tottenham Hotspur|
|Monday October 21st - 20:00||Crystal Palace||1-1||Fulham|
How the Premier League table could look after Week 8
The early title contenders: Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and City
The league's antagonist-in-chief, Luis Suarez, returned in Week 7 not only as a match winner for Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool, but as a team player, too.
With Philippe Coutinho still out through injury, a more selfless Suarez combined well with Daniel Sturridge with both strikers scoring a goal each. Steven Gerrard added Liverpool's third from the penalty spot after a clever bit of play from Suarez and Jose Enrique sent Raheem Sterling in on goal, only to be fouled in the box.
Travelling away to Newcastle United in Week 8, Liverpool will be hoping the reunited Sturridge and Suarez partnership can fire them to victory in a fixture that hasn't finished goaless since 1974.
Despite a late fightback against Everton in their 3-2 defeat to the Toffees in Week 6, and a win against Cardiff City at the weekend, Alan Pardew's team should pose no real threat to any of this year's top four candidates, home or away. It's hard to see past anything other than a Liverpool win.
Arsenal will seek to prevent Liverpool leapfrogging them for the top spot by making the most of the visit of Chris Hughton's struggling Norwich side, who have so far relied heavily on their new striker Ricky Van Wolfswinkel to carve out chances due to the lack of creativity and support they are able to afford him.
Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny may be derided as individuals by some, but as a partnership they are able to boast one of the league's best defensive records, and should be more than able of nullifying the isolated Dutchman.
Under Chris Hughton the Canaries have focused on attempting to be organised at the back and hard to beat, rather than ambitious going forward. Mesut Ozil should have no problem picking them apart to see Arsene Wenger's early leaders through to a comfortable victory.
Currently hanging on in third are Chelsea, who host Cardiff City in Week 8. Jose Mourinho's men have been something of a disappointment so far but should have more than enough to vanquish the visitors. They must do a professional job, considering Malky MacKay's ability to motivate his team against the big sides as evidenced by their victory over Manchester City.
Manuel Pellegrini's men must travel to West Ham United, who will be hoping to build on their 3-0 triumph over a still embryonic Tottenham side. The Chilean's team are beginning to find form in the league, however, and should be too much for Big Sam's side to match.
The battle for fourth and the top six
A win for Manchester United after the international break could catapult them straight back up into the currently tight chasing pack swarming below the top four.
However, their opponents, and the side currently in fourth place, Mauricio Pochettino's Southampton, will not be heading to Old Trafford to stand on ceremony, with their intense pressing game the ideal system to trouble United at present.
Instead, Rickie Lambert and Co. could well head back to the south coast with a point, leaving David Moyes' men lingering in the bottom half.
Similarly, Everton will host a Hull City team in high spirits, with canny Premier League survival expert Steve Bruce seeking to scrape an unlikely point out of their visit to Goodison Park. The outcome could depend greatly on which squad is more affected by the international break, with a score draw possible.
Tottenham, on the other hand, will travel to Aston Villa, where Paul Lambert's ever-improving team will seek to continue Andre Villas-Boas' Premier League misery. Christian Benteke is exactly the kind of player Spurs defenders will dread facing after their going over against West Ham.
Staying with teams in the midlands, and West Brom could break out into the top 10 if their impressive form carries over after the international break. Mark Hughes' Stoke City may not have an answer to Saido Berahino, Morgan Amalfitano and Stephane Sessegnon should they be able to weave their magic away at the Britannia Stadium.
Crystal Palace and Sunderland already adrift, but who will join them?
Only eight games into the season and already Crystal Palace and mangerless Sunderland are falling behind at the bottom of the league.
Michael Laudrup's Swansea City shouldn't find the Black Cats any trouble at all as guests as they host the division's only winless side. With the Swans needing a kickstart to improve their own league form, expect a ruthless performance against the North East's most desperate strugglers.
The Monday night fixture in Week 8 sees Palace host Martin Jol's disjointed and dysfunctional Fulham.
Who will join Crystal Palace and Sunderland in the relegation zone?
With neither sides looking convincing, Gary Neville may not be left with too much to talk about on Monday Night Football, with a turgid draw highly possible. Don't be surprised if Palace do find some inspiration to pick themselves up and win against the visitors, however. After all, this is a side who can count Ian Holloway as their manager.
Judging by the fixture list and form table, it looks like Norwich and Stoke will remain just above the bottom two after Week 8.
What are your Week 8 predictions for the Premier League, and who do you think are the early contenders for the title and for relegation?
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